We are already in the era of travelling and visiting far places are no longer being frowned upon or thought as something unachievable, because the generation of the Millennials are more adventurous than the generation before them and they wish, more than anything, to travel to exotic places. Of course, other generations are also catching up to the travel craze.
This is why many people are getting really sad because it seems impossible to travel when you’re only receiving an average wage per month that is only enough to cover basic necessities in life.
However, there are always some risks to every dream and sometimes, you got to take the chance before it passes you by. Due to the high demand for a more affordable plane tickets, many airlines have risen to popularity and providing people with a cheaper way to travel. Even though new airlines are offering low-cost tickets, you may want to wait for the seat sales in order to maximize your travel savings!
Rise of Airline Industry
In the turn of the century, the first commercial airline was established and even though the flights were only possible for short distances, it still managed to make a difference and a huge impact to society that needed to travel for days just to get from one place to another.
At that time, carriages were still the primary mode of transportation, but as soon as Europe caught wind of the potential profitability of the airlines because of the people willing to pay for such comfort, it started to spread like wildfire from one continent to the other.
Of course, the technology continues to grow and two World Wars pushes people to become even more creative in order to survive the aftermath of the brutal wars and a hundred years later, the airline industry continues to thrive because riding the ship from North America to Asia is simply ridiculous because it would take a lot of time, so people would always turn to airplanes as a major mode of transportation.
When modern technology came and the Internet became an integral part of human lives, travelling is no longer considered as a luxury, but it has almost risen as a necessity for the people and right now, there is a notion that not being able to travel is equivalent to not living your life to the fullest and so even with economic disadvantages, especially for the third-world countries, mostly, it is the Millennials that’s mostly making the trip in different local and international places possible.
Time of the Filipino Millennials
In a data analytics provided by Twitter Inc., they have expressed great gratitude for the continuous support of the Filipino community in using twitter, because the country is one of the biggest markets and most active in the microblogging site in Asia. Likewise, Facebook also released a statistic showing that the Filipino people are highly active on Facebook, coming in only as second of the highest number of users in Asia. Of course Instagram and now Snapchat are another social media platform where the country spends much time on.
And if you scroll across the timelines of all these social media sites, you would see how much admiration the Filipino millennials have for travelling, sharing a lot of travel videos, always looking for promo fares and discounts from touring agency, and some are always posting their bucket lists of places to visit once in their lives.
The Filipino millennials who manages to travel around the country and internationally are always posting pictures and videos online, that some remarks that the Filipino millennials are only travelling for the sake of showing off using the social media, but whatever their reasons are, one things is for sure—the Filipino millennials are obsessed with travelling!
Era of Promo Fares
However, as much the millennial generation loves to go on a trip, they are also wiser with their money, and they are not simply willing to give up their hard-earned salary for luxurious flights. In a recent survey by PAL, they said that the older generations are the ones that make up the large market for the first class flights for an entire year, but the younger generation is the biggest buyer of economy flights.
This does not mean that millennials of our country are cheaping-out for themselves, but they just know that the transportation is not as important as saving the money for the trip in the place itself.
For example, a Filipino aged 22 must be earning an average wage, living off the minimum wage per day, and he wanted to visit Singapore, then it is only wise to save up the money, buy a cheap flight, so that he could rent a luxurious hotel in Singapore, have money for entrance fees in the attractions there, and still have some spare to try out the local cuisines and buy pasalubongs for friends in the Philippines.
Thus, offering up high-cost flights are no longer working because the millennials simply would not buy it and would definitely look for an alternative way to save money. This is the reason why our flag-ship carrier, PAL, lost a great share of today’s market, because they have a relatively expensive plane tickets compared to other airlines such as Cebu Pacific, Air Asia, and Sky Jet that offers promo fares for as low as Php. 999.00 for domestic flights and only as high as Php. 1,200 for international flights around Asia.
Airlines Company in the Philippines
In the Philippines, the Philippine Airlines (PAL) were the first airline to be established in around 1941 and it managed to have a monopoly of both domestic and international flights for less than half a century, but soon competing airlines were established.
Philippine Airlines (PAL)
Considered as the luxurious carrier in the Philippines and has been part of the airline industry for around 76 years, it’s impossible for other airlines to chase PAL out of the game, because it is still the biggest airline that offers more direct flights to other countries than the other three major airlines in the country.
It’s surely comfortable in the business class (first class) cabin of PAL with large space for relaxation during long flights and the seats are fitted with “goose neck” for comfortable sleeping time or simply reclining moment. There are available ports to charge your laptop and other gadgets, as well, so you can use your phone or listen to mp3 without being afraid of losing battery.
As for the economy class cabin, it might not be of the same level of comfort as the first class cabin, but it is not unbearable either. You would still have enough space to move and relax for long-haul flights, but the recline might not be as big as the business class seats. But you would still have an individual Entertainment System to keep boredom away on-board.
It’s also possible to sign up as a member of PAL through their website where they can track your bookings and sometimes give away exclusive promos for long-time customers.
Philippine Airlines Domestic Flights
- Basco (Batanes)
- Cagayan de Oro
- General Santos
- Puerto Princesa
- Tawi Tawi
Philippine Airlines International Flights
- New Zealand
- North Mariana Islands
- Saudi Arabia
- United Kingdom
- United States
Everyone has been so happy when another airline opened and it’s offering a lot of promo fares, it’s almost impossible to believe at first, but the promo flights are the force behind the huge success of Cebu Pacific in the country. It now has 57 fully operational fleets and despite the cheap flights, they do not cheap out when it comes to modern upgrades since their aircrafts are considered as one of the modern fleets in Asia.
Plus, it’s super fun to fly with Cebu Pacific because of their unique games on-board and they give away a lot of fun prices! So make sure you are wide awake for the first few minutes in the plane or you’ll miss the Fun Flights. Cebu Pacific is also the one that introduced e-ticketing and the first airline in the country that turned to the use of Internet for easy management of bookings and other flight concerns.
Cebu Pacific Domestic Flights
- Cagayan de Oro
- General Santos
- Puerto Princesa
- San Jose
- Tawi Tawi
Cebu Pacific International Flights
- Saudi Arabia
- South Korea
Another leader of promo flights, Air Asia is another favorite of the Filipino travelers because there is always something new with the airline from the modern fleets to upgrades seats inside the cabin, plus, they offer one of the best dishes on-board for such a low-cost airline. Although similar with cebu pacific, they offer less than the average space, which may turn off some people for long flights, and the cabin is still a lot “tiny” compared with PAL’s huge fleets, the flight is good enough for many people.
Also, Air Asia has acquired Air Zest in 2013, which is highly strategic as it allows them access to another dozen of fleets but also lessens the competition between low-cost airlines. However, since this airline came a little late than Cebu Pacific, they are still not flying to some destinations in the country. Actually, they can only fly to ¼ of the places that Cebu Pacific could already reach.
Air Asia Domestic Flights
- Puerto Princesa
Air Asia International Flights
- New Zealand
- Saudi Arabia
- South Korea
Another major airline in the Philippines, but a little late-comer in terms of the competition between cheap plane tickets, Sky Jet is another choice for Filipino travelers who are looking for means of transport and not luxury. It is solely based in Manila and operating in Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
And although other airlines have already monopolized other flight routes, it still manages to make it mark when it offers flights going to Basco, Batanes, which is s dream destination for many and a place that is still mostly unreached by local and international tourists.
Sky Jet Domestic Flights
Sky Jet International Flights
- Sky Jet has no International flights as of this writing
Reality of Promo Flights
If you are set on buying promo flights, then always set our standards low, because you definitely cannot experience luxury when you only pay for half the usual price. Although, the airlines try to give you the best experience, it would still be lacking in so many ways so if your expectations are low, then they might still manage to surprise you with a better-than-expected experience, instead of assuming a world-class experience for a standard flight.
Flight promos are actually hassle-free for domestic flights because you don’t really need much baggage so the standard 7kg baggage allotment would suffice, in-flight food is not important either because you’re only on-board for an hour or so, and flight delays is not as bad since you’re still in the Philippines and it’s easier to move about.
However, promo flights for international destinations are little hassle than the usual flights. You would need to suffer around two to three stops, which might lasts from 8 hours to 24 hours in worst cases. Don’t expect good food either and space is a problem, since seat reservation would need an additional fee, and the baggage allotted is usually only 20kg if you’re lucky, because promo international flights usually offers only 7kg and need additional fees for more than that.
For both domestic and international flights, there is no offering of insurance unless you’re willing to pay for it and believe us, it costs quite a lot, and defeats the purpose of buying a promo flight. But then, for that dream place you have always wanted to visit, all of the effort and sacrifices is totally worth it, isn’t it?
No to Travel Agencies, Wait for Promo Fares Yourself
There are lots of travel agencies nowadays since the travel industry is so alive and thriving more and more each day since Filipino travelers are crazy over gaining travel experiences, which isn’t really bad, because exploration and adventures are what should really make up our youth.
And when you search for promo tickets, you would almost always see a lot of cheap flights being offered by a travel agency and you wonder if your money is safe with a third-party company, but here is a friendly advice, it’s better to wait for promo fares yourself than resort to the use of travelling agencies.
Although it seems hassle-free to book with a travel agent, things can get complicated because there is another party involved. Sometimes, the agency cannot keep track of the flight bookings and find it hard to notify customers of flight changes and when there are cancellations of flights due to some reason, the airline would not communicate with you easily, which can be frustrating when you’re stranded far away from home.
Of course, security reasons also play’s big part on why you should just book yourself and not use travel agencies, because you never know what might happen to your hard-earned money.
Also, the only reason these travel agencies are able to obtain cheap tickets is because they also wait for promo fares and hoard them. Then they would seemingly sell tickets for cheaper flights than the airline itself after a week or so.
For example, Travel Agency A has a whole building of employees then Cebu Pacific announced a seat sale, the entire building of agents would then snatch all of the cheap tickets all at once, which is a huge advantage for just one person seating at home, and competing with a huge agency of people.
Buy Plane Tickets Directly or Use a Travel Agent?
Always buy directly with the airlines, unless you have a complicated itinerary that needs a lot of fixing up and connecting flights. For example, from Manila, you are headed towards Dunedin, New Zealand.
There are no direct flights from Manila to Dunedin and booking connecting flights on your own would be difficult and risky, because what if one of your flights got delayed, then you risk missing your next flight. With an agent, he or she would be able to give you the best route, and find you a relatively cheap price for your tickets.
However, if you are just going to Singapore or even Palawan, then better do some direct booking, because you can talk directly to the airline and arrange your travel easily all by yourself.
Where can you buy promo fares?
As was mentioned earlier, we are already in the post-modern era and the use of the Internet is an integral part of our lives. After all, we are always scrolling on our phones, getting updated via social media, and surfing the net all day long. So the best and actually only place to look for promo fares? The Internet!
All airlines are no longer living in the ancient era and have actually hauled themselves over to the Internet and they almost never entertain outside of it, and all of the promo fares are being offered online since online booking is now the thing. e-ticketing is reliable and fast, everything is already recorded in the airline system with just some click and tweak on your keyboard.
So just go to Google and search for your flight on PisoFare or better yet, check out the airline website itself, because they give promos at least once in a day, giving away the tickets that are cancelled or refunded.
Time of the Year where Plane Tickets are on Sale
People are not always flying in and out of the country and most of the crowd are actually busy with their work or studies to travel all the time, so like every businesses, there are time of the year that ticket sales are low and airlines have long known how to anticipate this.
So during the “dead zones” or the time when few people are buying tickets, they would start to give away promos and ticket sales, because they are trying to counter the lack of customers. After all, it’s better to have sales, however little they may be than normal, than have no sales at all.
For the Philippines, ticket sales happen during the rainy seasons, from June to September, because people only fly consistently during the summer season and then Christmas season when people are on vacation and out to enjoy the sun and the holidays, respectively.
Best Time to Travel for Leisure
Of course, the best time to travel for leisure is during the summer season because the weather around the country is perfect for just about anything. You can go enjoy the sun the beautiful beaches and stunning islands of the Philippines. There are a lot of festivities going on during the months of March to May as well, because festivals and parties are being arranged all over the country, especially in the tourist spots.
You must not forget, however, that the happiest time of the year for the Philippines is the Christmas Season, because aside from being a predominantly Catholic believer, which results to extravagant festivities to celebrate the birth of Christ, there are also a lot of year-end bonuses from work and year-end clearance sales are also on the rise.
Promo Tickets vs Regular Tickets
Promo tickets are affordable by a huge margin than regular tickets, except when you look at the inclusions…there is nothing, except the inclusion of tax fees. Regular tickets have a relatively bigger baggage allowance, seat reservations, insurance especially reserved for emergency situations such as flight cancellations, food, and other amenities.
Step-by-step Guide on How to Book a Flight Online
1. Follow the Social Media Accounts of Airlines
Okay so don’t get to excited, because first you must know the days that the airline is going to give away free seats or just hold seat sale, and the only way to be updated is by the use of the social media sites, which shouldn’t be a problem since it’s favorite distraction of many Filipino people.
Follow all of the major airlines in the country and even those that are not so popular so that you can compare all of the ticket prices and manage to avail the promo tickets when you need it. Sometimes, airlines hold promo sales for tickets dated into a year or so later.
2. Booking Online
Promo fares can only be availed online and online booking is now the primary way to get tickets. First you would need to register in the website and then sign-in before you can book. You can use your e-mail that would need verification or simply use your Facebook account for registration. Then you can browse the promo tickets, listed beside the dates of travel, and the number of available seats for that date.
Once you click that, you would be taken to a page that needs filling up with personal information. Then once you confirm your information (double-check, because the airlines ask for compensation for wrong input of information), you would see the page for add-ons, including additional baggage allowance, food, upgrade of insurance, and others needs such as pillows. After that, you proceed to the payment page.
24-hours is given for you to complete the payment and verify through the website or else the booking would be cancelled and released to other people wanting to buy promo tickets. After a successful payment though, you would be given an e-ticket that you need to print out so you can present it in the airport in order to get a boarding pass.
3. Avoid Group bookings
You might be thinking that like anything else in the country, there is something as bulk ordering in airfares, but sad to say, there isn’t. You won’t get a discount because you booked for a dozen of people and actually sometimes, this is not allowed for promo fares!
There are instances during seat sales that booking for five people for the same time and destination gets an error message or a notification that the ticket you’re booking is sold-out, but then you book only for two people and the booking suddenly went through. This is because airlines avoid people that hoards tickets, and wants to ensure a fair distribution of the tickets on sale.
4. Book Early
The reason you need to be updated using the social media accounts of the airline sis because you need to book on the very first day of sale. If you let the first seat sale day pass, you would be left with almost no promo tickets to book because people have already snatched up the tickets, including the travel agencies that are lying in wait almost 24/7.
5. Book When Everyone is Asleep
This seems silly but boom in the middle of the night, basically from 12 midnight up until 5 in the morning, because the competition for ticket sales would be less than the time when people are already awake. Although some also stay up late to book tickets, you would be facing less lag and website crashes because the people booking tickets are cut by half or more.
6. Try Booking Other Dates
If the dates that you are booking are already sold-out and you are already despairing because you want to travel using a seat sale, don’t lose hope yet. Just adjust your travel date in order to see if there are still promo tickets available in other dates.
For example, you are booking for June 1, but there are immediately no available tickets on the date, try booking on May 30 or June 3. The start of the month is a popular date, so you better avoid that anyway. Fridays and weekends are also easily sold out because those are popular days. Try looking at dates within Tuesday and Thursday and you would be surprised at the number of tickets available.
Choose Manila Airport or Clark Airport?
You probably heard that NAIA or the Manila Airport used to be part of the worst airport in the world and although upgrades, repairs, and staff retraining have already taken place, majority still fly out using the major airport in the country, but right now the Clark Airport is gaining a lot of attention due to its state-of-the-art facilities, awesome policies, and world-class customer service and most people are saying that Clark Airport is better than NAIA.
However, it’s impossible to completely avoid NAIA since it’s the major airport and located in the capital of the country. However if you are not against travelling from Clark, Pampanga, then you might want to book a flight from there because airlines are offering a relatively cheaper price if you fly out from Clark. There are instances when the plane ticket is priced at Php. 1200 and there’s a 10% decrease for the Clark tickets.
Requirements before Buying Tickets Online
Well, there is really no formal requirements before buying tickets online except for needing to register in the website of the airline, unless they allow you not to, and then you need a passport 6 months from expiration before booking an international ticket. You would also need an approved visa or else you risk being fined and deportation when you arrive with a fake visa.
Use Your Credit Card in Buying Tickets Online
PAL primarily accepts the use of credit card and debit card when booking online and there are talks that they would disable over-the-counter payment for online booking soon, because it causes a lot of complications in payment verification. And credit cards are actually the most comfortable mode of payment to use when booking a ticket online because you only need to provide your card details and then confirm on your end and you are already good to go!
Don’t worry. Airline websites are secure and your personal details would not be shared or invaded in any way, unless they wanted to be sued with a million peso-lawsuit. Another advantage of using credit cards is that your bank might be rolling out a promo themselves, and they almost always do, which you can avail.
There are times when banks offer reimbursement especially if you book a certain flight and if you accumulated points for always using your card for purchases, so this means that you are available a seat sale and at the same time, getting discounts from your card. Total win-win!
However, keep in mind that an additional charge might be deducted if you pay using a credit card, so be sure to review the payment details before confirming anything.
Different Modes of Payment for Plane Tickets
There are different modes of payment available for online booking, and most people utilize the use of Credit Cards because it’s less hassle. You just need to provide the details of your card and then approve it from your end and you are already good to go. However, some people seem to fear of using credit cards during booking because mistakes could occur and you can get charged twice or thrice especially when the website suddenly shut down due to large crowd checking out the seat sales.
But you can still pay with the use of Over-The–Counter method and you can utilize so many banks all over the country. However, additional fees apply especially for Banco de Oro (BDO) and Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) that amounts from Php 50 to Php 200 depending on the time of the year and the destination that you are booking. But if you pay using 7/11-payment system and Dragonpay, there is only Php 1.00 to Php 50 fee, and sometimes none if there is an on-going promo.
Preparation for Your Flight
Flying in an airplane is a relatively comfortable experience especially for domestic flights unless you are not properly prepared and you don’t have everything that the airport might need. For one, you need your printed form of the e-ticket you received upon payment. You cannot possible forget your booking number because you need that for the printing of the boarding that can be done inside the airport.
Then you need a copy of any acceptable identification cards in case an airport officer might need it from you. Also, international flight are more hassle and need a lot of verification before you can even board the flight, but if you have everything that they would ask for then you can breeze past this and settle for a long-haul flight.
First, you need to have a passport that is 6 months from expiration, an acceptable identification cards, and of course, a visa if you are travelling to a place that might be needing it. Plus, if you have a lay-over in a certain country then it’s better to apply for a transit visa so that you would not risk being detained by the immigration officer just because you have no right to stay in a particular country of your lay-over.
How to Track Your Plane in Real-time with These Apps?
You can actually track your plane in real-time with the use of the applications of the airlines themselves. All the four major airlines have their apps, which can be downloaded from the Play Store for android users and Apple Store for iphone users.
But you can also download FlightAware Flight Tracker, FlightTrack 5, GateGuru, FlightBoard and iFly Airport Guide. All of these apps can give you real-time info about the terminals, airport, weather of your destination, flight cancellation anticipation, and lay-over delays.
How to Web Check-in?
Just sign-in in your airline website and go to your account where you can see the status of your booking. You can easily spot the button for the web check-in there, just click it and then confirm.
Philippine Airlines (PAL) web check in
Online check-in is available for all of the flights of PAL and you can simply go to their website 24 hours up to 1 hour before the time of your flight. You can also reserve your seating using this feature, unless the ticket you’re holding does not give the right for seating reservations, and then at the airport, present the boarding pass, passport, and other necessary documents at the Online Check-in Bag Drop Counter, where you would check in your baggage.
Cebu Pacific web check in
Not only does Cebu Pacific allow web check-in, they also have mobile check-in so you can confirm your presence on the flight with just a phone in hand. You can check in online 7 days up to 4 hours before your international flight and 7 days to 1 hour before you domestic flight. At the day of your flight, just proceed to the Bag Drop Counter to check in your bags.
Air Asia web check in
Of course, Air Asia would not be left behind when it comes to self-check in and they even allow passengers to check in 14 days up to 3 hours before an international flight and 14 days up to 1 hour before a domestic flight. You can use the website or your Air Asia app in your mobile phone for check-ins, since all you need to do is provide your booking number and your surname.
Sky Jet web check in
Since Sky Jet is still a small airline that operates locally, mostly concentrating with Manila to Batanes flights daily, they still don’t offer web check-ins and only operates a single check-in counter in the airport. You need to check-in 45 minutes before the time of your departure or you risk cancellation.
Know your Rights as a Passenger!
It’s important that you know what your rights are when flying in a plane since there are laws in existence that airlines must strictly follow. You can check out the released law here. But in summary, here are the major things you need to be aware of.
1. Unloaded Baggage
There are times when your baggage is unloaded from your flight and you would be asking why such thing happened and all they would answer is due to “operational and security purposes.”
This is certainly frustrating, especially if everything you need is in your bags, but you must know that it is mandated by law that they bring your bags to you an hour after you arrive at your destination and if there is a delay, you are to receive Php 2000 for every 24 hours that you haven’t received your baggage.
2. Flight is Overbooked?
The law allows flight overbooking because people almost always cancel their flights and some just don’t arrive, but if overbooking happens and they need to decrease the number of passengers, then the airline must offer incentives in order to get a volunteer.
No one can force you to get off the plane unless it’s of your own decision.
Thus, the airline must increase the incentives such as transferring you to another flight, giving money, and even checking you in a luxurious hotel until the number of volunteers is met.
3. Price-tag Law is Applicable to Airline Tickets
Ticket sales happen all the time and you would go crazy over it, until you see the hidden charges, but did you know that you can sue the airline for charging you more than what is written in the terms and conditions of their promotions?
So they need to provide an outline of all the terms and conditions that they have for a certain promotion because they cannot charge more than they are offering in the sales.
If you arrive an hour before the flight, the airline must check you in at all cost and does not have the right to cancel your flight and if no one is assisting you, you can sue them and receive compensation for their lack of assistance.
5. Cancellation of Flights
Let’s face it, flight gets cancelled all the time even if we hate it, but the airline must inform you beforehand through public announcement or via e-mail notification of the status of your flight. If no notification has reached you, they must give you a full refund or arrange another flight shall you wish it.
6. When your Flight is Delayed
Flights delays are probably the worst that can happen especially in bad weather, and law requires airlines, to provide free drinks, food, Internet access, and even a hotel accommodation in extreme conditions.
Save Money Even Without Promo Tickets
Yes! It’s possible to save without buying a promo ticket. All you need to do is anticipate the time of the year that ticket sales are low which happens usually right after the holidays in January, because most people have ran out of money and the time before the rainy seasons since people are not going out in the wet weather, because this is the time that ticket prices experience a sudden drop and you can take advantage of this!
Also, booking a ticket a year before the travel date can get you almost 50% off in the ticket price. So it’s better to do some early booking to get discounted fares.
There you have it! Everything that is mentioned here is all you need to know when you want to travel all over the world with the use of promo fares and booking through the new online system that is in place.
However, there are three things you need to keep in mind before flying in any airline.
First, always be aware. Promo tickets are a gift from the heavens, but no airline would simply give away tickets without any catch and it’s important to always read, read, and read all the terms and conditions before confirming any payment.
Second, don’t be hasty. Sometimes, people get so excited in booking cheap airfares that they forget to double check personal information and payment details so they ended up with a useless booking and having to pay for an additional fee to change faulty personal info.
Third, communicate. Mistakes happen both on your end and at the end of the airlines and because you are basically flying right up there in the atmosphere, weather can interfere. So before your flight, contact the airline through e-mail or even through the website, so that you know how to anticipate any cancellations or delays.
So go Filipino traveler and have a great time!